New study shows
UK businesses are throwing away mountains of waste including 167.8 million pieces of paper EVERY DAY – of which almost 23.5 million aren’t recycled.
New research into business environmental habits found that 14% of the UK’s 5.7 million companies, employing 31.4 million staff, fail to provide any recycling facilities.
Yet, the study found that in an average day, each employee throws away trash including six pieces of paper, three pieces of cardboard and three food wrappers.
And with ample consumption of hot and cold beverages in British offices, the environment is seeing more than its fair share of spiralling waste.
Drink dispensers are to blame for much of the waste, with almost 30 million plastic cups thrown away every day – that’s an average two per worker – but 4.1 million of these are not recycled, according to the survey by Printerland.co.uk.
Plastic bottles are another carelessly discarded item, with 33.9 million in office bins each day, while coffee cups are chucked by 14.6 million employees, who sup two on average each day.
Over 9.5 billion aluminium drinks cans are produced every year but these can be recycled in under 60 days to make more cans or turned into aeroplane parts or bicycles.
However, cans are being thrown away at the rate of 50.9 million a day, with 7.1 million going to landfill.
But as well as the physical items being tossed away, there’s the energy wasted by devices such as computers being left on while not in use.
Kilowatt per hour (kWh) (that’s 1,000 watts used each hour) is the unit of measurement of an appliance’s usage, with the current average national business cost of this, 17.5 pence.
The survey also found that 12% of staff NEVER switch their computers off.
Over the year this equates to 729.3 million kWh of energy wasted, or £127.6 million – enough to power 185,113 average UK households for the whole year.
Only 37% of UK businesses have an environment policy in place, while 9% have a carpool program and 7% have nominated a monitor to check lights, electronic equipment and heating are not left on when not in use.
Chris Ralph, IT manager at Printerland.co.uk, said: “Our research has been a bit of an eye-opener for us and we’ve already started to make changes in order to bring our own energy consumption down.
“As well as making sure you recycle as much as possible, there are some simple things you can do around the office, such as putting electronic devices on standby, as this would make a positive impact on the environment.”
Businesses can reduce, reuse and recycle to save on energy and unnecessary landfill usage.